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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Dude, MIT Rocks.Super BrilliantComputer Science
Dude, MIT Rocks.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, and anyone who judges reviews by the first line has stopped reading: MIT is actually pretty good. The coursework is difficult, true, and it can feel like you're drowning, but overall the experience can actually be pretty positive.

First, you have to make sure that you have good friends; a good support group. It may seem like you won't have time at MIT for friends and fun, but it's critical that you don't just lock yourself away and expect to succeed in isolation. That's a surefire way to go crazy. Trust me - I did. I had to drop out (medical leave of absence). However, unlike (at least) one of the previous posters, the deans were very helpful and supportive of me getting back in, once I got therapy and help and showed I had a support network and proper plans in place. They want you to succeed (they want every student to succeed), but not at the cost of your health. [Sidebar: Whether that comes from truly caring about students or a fear of lawsuits, I could not say.]

I got back in after taking 2 years off, finished off my degree, and learned a lot from the experience. If you take things to excess, whether studying or partying, you'll regret it.

If you survive MIT, anything the "real world" throws at you will be a piece of cake.
On an unrelated note to all of this, I found that, like anywhere, most of the professors were helpful, but some decidedly sucked. Most of the TA's had open door policies, but some were jealous a-holes and would mark bright students down (easy to get around if you just acted fumbling around them as asked for help) for minor errors. Most of the students are very friendly and feel just as unsure as you (or anyone), but some are arrogant snobs who need their kneecaps kicked in.

There's not going to be a one-size-fits-all experience, but as long as you find people with similar interests, you work diligently, but not all-consumingly (not a word, I know) at your studies, and you ensure that above all, you take care of yourself, going to MIT will be one of the best experiences of your life.

And the fact that it's right next to Boston doesn't hurt either.

5th Year Male -- Class 2006
Scholastic Success: A+, Faculty Accessibility: F
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The work is not super intensive and notBrightComputer Science
The work is not super intensive and not hard. You have to put a lot of time and effort in, but the hardest part about that is there is so much to do here that it gets difficult to manage time.

The education lives up to its name. You WILL learn a lot here so education is not an issue. What's a striking surprise for me was all the research/job opportunities you have here. It's really easy to get a research position even if you're just exploring a major. Other students at other schools would die for these opportunities. Even as a freshman brand new to the school, you can get a research position right in the beginning in the fall.

There are plenty of PE classes and intramural sports for you to play if you're not as hardcore as varsity players. There is a TON of clubs and you'll easily find ones that suite you.

We study hard, but party harder. Weekends are usually filled with one to three frat parties that are hella fun and wild, but not too crazy (because we still care about safety or else we can't throw anymore parties). I enjoyed my first year here, and even though my work load is getting bigger, there is still time for me to enjoy my college years.

1st Year Male -- Class 2014
Education Quality: A+, Campus Aesthetics: B-
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I had a fantastic time at MIT.Super BrilliantPolitical Science
I had a fantastic time at MIT. It's really, really intense and you have to be extremely driven and love technical subjects. If that describes you, you'll have a great time.

It's also a great party school, believe it or not. The dorms are all very different from each other, some with typical college life, some really nerdy, some with lots of hardcore partying. This makes it a place where it's easy to find people who are similar to you, assuming that you are generally smart and like math.MIT is pretty nice in terms of things like having an open campus even at night, not forcing dining plans upon you even in your first year, not caring if you drill holes into walls of the older dorms and explode things in the courtyard, etc.

5th Year Female -- Class 2007
Education Quality: A+, Innovation: B
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